Source: David Mark on Pixabay
The Northern Lights always seem to be that one thing in nature that everyone wants to see – and for good reason. Not only are they beautiful and impressive, but they can really light up the night and bring something much desired to the winter sky. Ranging in colours from greens to blues, pinks and violets, the ancient Scandinavian people used to refer to the Northern Lights as the Valkyrie – a tribe of warrior queens who collected the souls of the dead from the battlefield and sent them to Valhalla, with the lights made from the reflection off the Valkyries armour and shields. If you want to see this natural phenomenon, consider one of these fantastic countries for your next holiday in the winter.
One of the most popular countries in which to view the Northern Lights, Finland is a perfect getaway for those looking for a bit of romance while seeing one of Earth’s most wondrous natural events. Not only can you go on tours specifically to see the Northern Lights, but you can also stay in hotels specifically designed for Aurora viewing. Not only this, but there are a whole host of great other tours you can do to experience the Northern Lights such as through dog sledding trips and the like. The best time to view the Aurora Borealis is in winter when Finland can be extremely cold, so come prepared to both be blown away, but also for the cold. You will thank us later.
The funny thing about Canada is that you can see the Northern Lights surprisingly far south. While it’s fairly rare, you can see them as far south as Edmonton, but don’t base your trip on this. It’s rare, but not impossible. Your best bet in Canada is the northern part of most provinces or up in the territories where it’s far more likely to come across Aurora. One of the best places in Canada to check them out is probably Yellowknife, or further north if you’re brave. Labrador is also a great place to check out the Aurora in Canada, but be prepared for a minimal tourist infrastructure. Want to combine the best of two worlds? Head to Churchill, Manitoba where you may come across not just Northern Lights, but also polar bears. We’re pretty sure this absolutely screams ‘Canada’.
Iceland is one of the better places to head to if you are looking to come across Northern Lights – with its arctic backdrop featuring mountains, glaciers, waterfalls and hot springs, Iceland continues to attract many travellers with its Northern Lights tours. Touted as one of the best places in the world to experience the Aurora Borealis, Iceland continues to attract travellers who are happy to balance their trips with chilly adventures into the tundra to look for these lights snaking across the sky, while in tandem being happy to while away the hours in one of Iceland’s hot springs, such as the famous Blue Lagoon.
While some people think of visiting Russia in the winter and shiver, it can actually be a really pleasant and eye-opening experience. Many of the best places are in the north (as in, north of Moscow) on the various peninsulas up in Russia’s arctic circle. The lights up in this region can be truly spectacular, but you need to ensure you go prepared. Typically the aurora will only come if it’s below +10C at night, so you will need some cold weather gear. However, that being said, the location allows a much longer viewing season with aurora being visible from August until May. The best times are around February or March. You can book a cheap fight to Moscow and organise Northern Lights tours from there, along with spending some time in Russia’s premier city and seeing the sights. Be sure to try the vodka and local cuisines – you won’t regret it. We promise.
So if you have been wondering where you should go to experience and see the northern lights, hopefully this article has given you a good idea about some of the planet’s most unique Aurora Borealis viewing locations. So what are you waiting for? Pick your favourite and hit the road – the lights won’t view themselves.